Behind Enemy Lines: LSU vs. FLORIDA

If there are things you want to know about the Tigers' upcoming opponent, look no further than Here we pose five questions to the opposing camp, who will in return offer insight on LSU's next foe. This week, Chris Chmielenski of, provides commentary on coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators.

  1. Following such a disappointing loss to Auburn, what is the mindset of this Florida team heading into this game?


Aside from the Tony Joiner incident, things are upbeat. The coaching staff grades each player's performance following every game, and there were twice as many players that graded out as champions (meaning they graded higher than 80 percent) than after the win against Ole Miss. It's a young team and all the coaches want to see is development from week-to-week, and that's exactly what they are getting. Plus, how many teams in the country get to try and redeem themselves with a road test against one of the top teams in the nation? The match-up with LSU provides the Gators with that chance.



  1. After scoring so many points in earlier games this season, what did Auburn do defensively (or what that the reason at all) to make Florida so one-dimensional on offense?


Injuries to the wide receiving corps have provided the most problems. Andre Caldwell has been out since the Troy game with a knee sprain, Riley Cooper has been slowed by a sprained ankle since Tennessee and Percy Harvin, although he's been playing, hasn't been practicing much after bruising his hip against Ole Miss. Plus, for whatever reason, there's not a whole lot of confidence in tailback Kestahn Moore who is averaging more than five yards a carry this season, has done a nice job in protection and takes care of the football. Tim Tebow provides a reliable crutch and comfort level for the offensive staff, but the more people they get involved, the more points they tend to score.



  1. Tim Tebow was basically a one-man show in each of Florida's last two games. Is there any question marks to his durability?


Apparently not. After carrying 27 times for 166 yards against Ole Miss, Tebow wasn't even fazed by the unusually busy afternoon. He's big and strong and also falls with grace. What I mean by that is he tries to protect his body as he goes down to eliminate the sprains, pulls and tears. He is a special athlete, but he also hasn't played a full game against a hard-hitting team like LSU.


  1. It was widely publicized that Florida would be replacing nine starters on defense. Despite being loaded with young talent, talk about some of the issues facing this defense.


There are two major issues, and they're both related to each other. First, the secondary has struggled. The best corner is Markihe Anderson who has barely played because of a knee sprain and isn't expected to play on Saturday. That leaves true freshman Joe Haden who never played cornerback until he got to Gainesville and sophomore Wondy Pierre-Louis who is extremely athletic but has only played football for a couple of years. The free safety spot has been questionable all season long and has bounced between senior Kyle Jackson and true freshman Major Wright. And strong safety is up in the air for Saturday because of the Joiner incident. The other issue is with the pass rush. The line has done a nice job of stopping the run, but they have put no pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Brandon Cox and Erik Ainge had all day in the pocket. The lack of a pass rush has neutralized the play of Derrick Harvey on the end and put more pressure on the young secondary.



  1. Talk about Florida's special teams, especially since the Gators were forced to replace both the kicker and the punter. Also, break down Florida's return specialists.


Florida has taken great pride in their special teams since Urban Meyer's arrival – until last week. Against Auburn, the Gators were called for running into the punter penalty that set up a Tiger touchdown, had a short field goal blocked, were called for illegal procedure on a successful fake punt, and most significant, had a 25-yard punt at the end of the game, allowing Auburn to set up the winning field goal. There are serious concerns with both place kicker Joey Ijjas and punter Chas Henry.


The return game, however, is one of the strongest areas of the team. Brandon James has been an electrifying returner since coming to Gainesville and continues to be one of the best returners in the SEC. James is averaging more than 30 yards on kick returns and had a 59-yarder that should have gone for a touchdown against Ole Miss, and he's averaging 20 yards on punt returns with an 83-yard touchdown return against the Vols.

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